Friday, October 8, 2010

Far Eastern Curlew

So Beppu treated my arrival nicely with this first Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis) of the season. In fact, the first for my Beppu list. I've seen the bird once in Thailand many years ago, where it is a rare vagrant. I luckily found one bird flying along with a large flock of Eurasian Curlews. This time, I surprisingly found one juvenile bird wandered around the lawn near Sekino-e swimming beach. I actually saw it while I was on my way back from school in the bus, so I had to wait until I arrived my place, take all the gears and go back there again to photograph the bird.

Juvenile Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis)

The bird was pretty much approachable, although not very tame. It tended to walk away quickly as I walked after it, but when I sat down still for a while, it'd come back and even closer. Many times, the bird walked in too close for the camera to focus, thus I could only watch it walked in front of me. I actually thought it was a Whimbrel at first, since the bill didn't seem to be very long, but after I watched it more carefully, especially when it stretched its wings, I could see that it didn't have any white on the rump and its plumage looked more like a Far Eastern, not a Whimbrel. Don't know how many year it takes for the bird to fully grow its bill. Anyone?

These photos superficially look like they were taken from the Tundra!

I saw it strangely ate what seemed to be a hawk moth. Other dishes included at least 2 alive crabs it caught by picking up from the surface of the beach. I waited for the bird to show its rump, which finally it did, by stretching its left wing and leg. Although the rump wasn't shown perfectly, it can still be evidenced that it is much different from the Whimbrel.

Also, there was a lone Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) hiding low in the vegetation by the beach. I didn't see it at first and the bird finally flushed up and landed several metres away from the first point. I've no idea if it's the same bird I've found earlier in summer this year or not. Maybe I should start ringing...

Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) in winter plumage

And the same juvenile Far Eastern Curlew to finish this post

8 comments:

Chris said...

Wow the curlew shots are simply perfect and wonderful! We have sometime some around here but it is a rare and non-endemic species!

Ari said...

The curlew shots are gorgeous!

Stu said...

Great Curlew shots, we get quite a few up here, Easterns like this one but I haven't seen a Eurasian Curlew yet..............

I've only ever seen ONE Kentish Plover here!

Unravel said...

Thanks a lot everyone! Didn't know that it also turns up in Iceland! The Eurasian Curlew seems to be much commoner down here Stu, and I've seen quite many Kentish Plovers in Saga as well. Still, birds in Hokkaido are much more interesting, don't worry hahaha...

Phil said...

Wow. Great shots A. It looks far different to our Curlews here, taller and longer bodied somehow, I mean that tail is almost touching the ground! Super.

Mark Young said...

Awesome images of the Curlew!

Ryou said...

Excellent detail of the beautiful patterns on its wings!

John said...

Great waders